Simple Rules: Creating Viral Anythings


There’s a simple rule about rules for creating viral anything, whether it’s viral video or tweets or photos or whatnot. The rule is this: anyone who tells you how to do it in a step-by-step way is just blowing smoke. If they could do it that easily, they wouldn’t be talking to you about it, they’d be off using their pixie dust to command obscene amounts of consulting fees — and there’s no way they’d give away the secret sauce for free.

Social Media ROI & “Tweeting for Dollars”

Twitter DollarsLast week while discussing social media ROI, I made the statement that attempting to directly measure revenue from social media will mean the social media efforts won’t be effective. To be clear, as I went on to say in my post last week, I’m not suggesting that social media efforts not be monitored. What I wrote was that

There’s no direct link between time or money spent on social media pur­suits and rev­enue. Some­times there may be a direct return, but this is the excep­tion and not the rule. Social media pur­suits have a grad­ual but cumu­la­tive effect over the long term, which trans­lates indi­rectly to increased rev­enue for your busi­ness. The more directly you try to align social media with rev­enue, the less effec­tive it will be, because it vio­lates the most basic prin­ci­ple of social media interaction.

Social Media in Manitoba Provincial Politics: Would it Have Mattered?

2011 Manitoba Election Results In the Manitoba provincial post-election Tweet-stream, @susie_parker kicked off a brief discussion about how there was little to no social media activity from the political parties. If you were following, you may have noticed that none of them seemed to have a social media strategy at all. One comment ran along the lines that during a busy campaign, they wouldn’t have had time to tweet consistently or effectively. (I’m paraphrasing and interpreting some brief tweets here.)

The comparison to Barack Obama’s legendary campaign was inevitable for his effective use of social media. Would social media have changed the outcome of the Manitoba election? Not likely — as @miguelcarrasco tweeted:

Social Media ROI & Unicorn Mortality

Einstein on Social Media ROI and Unicorn Mortality Last week I attended the first meetup of the Marketing & Technology group, which turned out to be a great first meeting. Since the intersection of marketing and technology is where I’ve lived and played for more than a decade now (since it was just a lonely crossroads), I’m looking forward to seeing the group grow and evolve.

The first meeting featured a discussion panel, to which Ryan Caligiuri posed a number of questions. Several of these had me wanting to interject, like the question of measuring social media ROI (Return on Investment), a practice which some have completely discounted as inadvisable or downright impossible.

Movie Response: The Social Network

The Social Network - Movie PosterI finally broke down and saw The Social Network, despite my personal prohibition on ever seeing another movie where the dialogue includes the cheesy line, “This is our time!” The movie is a dramatization of the founding of and eventual lawsuits over Mark Zuckerberg‘s founding of Facebook.

My first thought was that this movie should do for Facebook what Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price did for Wal-Mart in terms of negative publicity. And at the end of the day, that’s probably apt. Anyone who’s seen the movie can easily see the negative impact that Wal-Mart has had on communities and will deplore many of its corporate practices. They might even remember that as they stand in line at the checkout — but they won’t stop shopping at Wal-Mart. So maybe the comparison works. When something has that much momentum, you can change your opinion of it, but you still end up supporting it one way or another.